Moultrie-Douglas County Fair Entertainers Through the Years

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

Picture yourself standing in line at one of McKinney’s food stands and waiting to buy a large corn dog or lemon shake-up, munching on Culler’s French Fries, or eating one of the many items at Fat Jacks or the Arthur Woman’s Club stand, then you might be at the Moultrie-Douglas County Fair—2019. There’s nothing like a lemon shake-up, tasty cotton candy, or giant elephant ear, good old fair food. Just imagine yourself taking in all the wonderful smells of the county fair.

Sad to say its not going to happen this year. The Moultrie-Douglas directors had to make the difficult decision to cancel the fair this year due to all the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fair was scheduled for July 5-11 and it is definitely a downer for everyone. The board was gearing up for our 90th year, so plans continue for a bigger and better fair next year. It is always a thrill to see the Boden Amusement rides going around or up & down, the queen pageants, tractor pulls, livestock shows and the amazing entertainment.

We are pleased to have 2019 Miss Moultrie-Douglas Makenna Green, Jr. Miss Regann Smith and Little Miss Reagan McComber continuing to reign over our fair until next year.

Speaking of entertainment, I was asked if I had a list of all the entertainment that has appeared at the Moultrie-Douglas Fair over the years. I did not, but decided it was time to have a list. It has been enlightening browsing through old fair books to see who has been at our fair.

The following is a list of the performers and the year they graced the fair stage. I think you will find the Moultrie-Douglas Fair has had many top-notch performers over the years. Enjoy reliving your moments enjoying the past entertainers. See you at the fair 2021!

Moultrie-Douglas County Fair Entertainment
(Compiled in June, 2020 – Doris Elmore)

1930: Bachman’s Million Dollar Band—Miscellaneous Acts

1931: Happy Ray Revue – Pallenberg’s Bears – Bachman’s Million Dollar Band – Six Pashas (acrobatic) – Bruno Weise & Co. (act)

1932: No Fair

1933: Bachman’s Million Dollar Band

1934: Homer F. Lee’s Royal Missourian Band – Miscellaneous Acts

1935: Lulu Belle, WLS Barn Dance – Skyland Scotty, WLS

1936: Novak & Fay Acrobats – Taketa Japanese Gymnasts – The Siegfrieds – Case Brothers & Marie – Maple City Four – Prairie Ramblers

1937: The Great Dalbeanie, Six Skating Marvels, Emerald Sisters, Monroe & Adams Sisters

1938: Pine Ridge Follies w/Willie West McGinty & Spiller’s Seals, Lum & Abner, Capt. Seals, Art LaFleur Acrobat.

1939: Wilfred DuBois, Howard Fuller & Sister, Alf Loyal’s Dogs, Edison & Louise, Pine Ridge Follies

1940: Will Hill’s Elephants, Machedon Tumbling Troupe, Ross Brothers Hand Balancers, Wilbur’s Circus, Jimmie Evans & Co., Stevens Brothers and Big Boy (bear), France and LaPell, gymnasts

1941: Ballard and Rae (stunts), Monroe Brothers (comedy), Monahan & Morris, Al Zimmey & Grandstand Quiz Show, Whitey Ford/Duke of Paducah (comedian)

1942-1945: No Fair

1946: Patsy Montana & WLS Barn Dance, Miscellaneous Acts

1947: Claude Thornhill Orchestra, Arkansas’s Woodchopper (entertainer), Miscellaneous Acts

1948: Orchestras by Charlie Spivak, Will Back, Sherman Hayes, Eddy Howard, Larry Clinton, Miscellaneous Acts

1949: Lebrac & Bernice (unicycle), Bob Atcher, WLS Barn Dance, WLS Rangers Mac & Bob, Larry Griswold (trampoline), Strong Foursome (rope tricks), Terry Ray, ladder artist

1950: Jake Sisters, Parker Bros. (ventriloquist), Captain Stubby & the Buccaneers, Gautier’s Tallyho, Three Glenns, Donald “Red” Blanchard WLS

1951 Abbreviated fair on school grounds-no book

1952: Peter Chan (accordian), WLS Entertainer, Phyllis Brown (singer), Miscellaneous Acts

1953: WLS Barn Dance, Balancing Act Spectacular Vernell, Rose Steele & Canines, Ted Miller & Smiley, Fighting & Dancing Horse, McNallie Sisters, The Coriells Act (ropers), Miscellaneous Acts

1954: Jerry Gray, Shep Fields (music), Blue Barrron Acrobatic Acts, Ken Griffin (aerial acts-acrobats) Dolph Hewitt WLS, Jimmy Lee (comedian)

1955: Grand Ole Opry Stars Ray Price, Goldie Hill, Justin Tubb, Billy Rayes (comedian)

1956: The Mariners, Dan Belloc (sax & orchestra), Homer & Jethro, Cowboy Bob Atcher, Beaver Valley Sweethearts (singers), Don Cherry (vocalist), Dick Noel (Breakfast Club), Ernie Rudy Band, Miscellaneous Acts

1957: Pee Wee King & Pee Wee King Ranch Gang, Red Blanchard, WLS Barn Dance

1958: Frankie Masters Orchestra, Chase & Park (Topsy-Turvey Tricksters), Tall Timber Boys “Country Music Jubilee” starring Red Foley, Elkins Sisters (acrobats), Miscellaneous Acts

1959: Roy Acuff Show, Frank Yankovic (accordian), Faron Young Show, Wayne Roland (comedian), Porter Wagoner, Margie Bowes

1960: Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Brenda Lee (rock & roll), Lulu Belle (bear), Johnny Elmore, The Rainbows, Tiny Rich Crandall, Ginny Kelly’s Adorables, Varju Bros, Ferlin Husky

1961: Ink Spots & Acts, Stonewall Jackson Show with Justin Tubb, Red Sovine and Dottie West, Roy Orbison Show & Band, Faron Young Show with Margie Bowes

1962: Lou Prohut (accordian) from Don McNeil’s Breakfast Club, Ginny Tiu (piano), Tex Ritter,
Faron Young

1963: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Ferlin Husky Show, The Harmonicats

1964: Hank Williams Jr.

1965: Skeeter Davis-Opry, Osmond Brothers, Roy Clark, Hank Snow, Johnny Barton

1966: Porter Wagner Show & George Hamilton IV, Johnny Tillotson (Lawrence Welk), Jim Roberts, Ray Price, Margie Bowes, The Cherokee Cowboys

1967: Grand Ole Opry Stars, Clinger Sisters, Barbara & Bobby (Lawrence Welk), Johnny Cash, Carter Family, Tennessee Three, Statler Brothers Quartet

1968: Del Reeves, Steve Smith & Jack Emil (Lawrence Welk), Sonny James, Minnie Pearl

1969: Johnny Cash Show, Frankie Fontaine, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Cissy & Bobby (Lawrence Welk Show), Dick Dale

1970: Merle Haggard, Norma Zimmer & Jim Roberts (Lawrence Welk), Ken Curtis (Festus), Billy Jo Spears, David Houston

1971: Loretta Lynn, Boots Randolph, Guy & Rolna (Lawrence Welk), Bill Anderson, Jan Howard, Grandpa Jones

1972: Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Archie Campbell, Guy & Rolna (Lawrence Welk), Roy Drusky & The Loners

1973: The Hagers, Jack Greene, Jennie Seely, Clay Hart (Lawrence Welk) Oak Ridge Boys, Freddie Hart, The Heartbeats, The Kendalls

1974: Tommy Overstreet & The Nashville Express, Tom T. Hall & The Story Tellers, Jethro of Homer & Jethro

1975: Mel Tillis & The State Siders, Sugarloaf, Gail Farrell (Lawrence Welk), Marty Robbins

1976: Mickey Gilley, Crystal Gale, Asleep at the Wheel, The Spurrlows, Ronnie Milsap & Band

1977: Cal Smith with Joni Lee, Earl Scruggs Revue, Blackwood Bros. (Gospel), Jerry Reed

1978: Sonny James, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Johnny Paycheck, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius

1979: Billy “Crash” Craddock, T. J. Sheppard, Marty Robbins

1980: Hank Williams Jr., Moe Bandy, Hoyt Axton, Dave & Sugar

1981: Gene Watson, Joe Stampley, Johnny Rodriguez, John Conlee

1982: Rex Allen Jr., Terri Gibbs, Shelley West, Slim Whitman, David Frizell

1983: Ricky Skaggs, Leon Everette, Gary Morris, Earl Thomas Conley

1984: Reba McIntyre, Ronnie Robbins Show, John Anderson Show

1985: The Judds, Exile Show, Con Hunley Show, Margo Smith Show

1986: Dan Seals, T. Graham Brown, Bellamy Brothers, Charly McClain, Wayne Massey

1987: Gary Morris, Kathy Mattea, Pake McEntire, Michael Martin Murphy

1988: Ricky VanShelton (did not perform due to weather), Asleep at the Wheel, Mel McDaniel, Highway 101

1989: Eddy Raven, The Girls Next Door, Billy Joe Royal, Forester Sisters

1990: Holly Dunn, Skip Ewing, Paul Overstreet, Desert Rose Band

1991: Asleep at the Wheel, Robin Lee, Desert Rose Band, T. G. Sheppard

1992: Brooks & Dunn, Tom Wopat, Baillie & the Boys, Janie Fricke

1993: Sammy Kershaw, Don Williams

1994: Marshall Tucker Band, Martina McBride

1995: John & Audrey Wiggins, Daron Norwood

1996: Nashville North Band, Dr. Wu’s R & B Review, Two for the Show, “1964 The Tribute”

1997: Ken Wallis & 95Q Review, Sally Weisenburg & the Famous Sidemen, Exile, Ken Mellons

1998: Amy White Band, Electric Amish Band w/Chick McGee

1999: Gene Trimble Orchestra, Rocky LaPorte, Windy City Wrestling, Jeff Rothpan, Tim Cavanagh

2000: Blue Grass Band, Long Creek

2001: Kentucky Blue Band

2002: No Entertainment—Talent Show on Friday night

2003: Joe Nichols

2004: Jimmy Wayne

2005: Cletus T. Judd

2006: Theron Denson “The Black Diamond” (Neil Diamond Impersonator)

2007: Casey Rivers

2008: 44th Annual Illinois State Old Time Fiddle Contest

2009: The Gunny Sack Revue, Illinois State Old Time Fiddle Contest

2010: The Gunny Sack Revue, Mackville

2011: The Gunny Sack Revue

2012: The Henningsens

2013: Parmalee

2014: Lorrie Morgan

2015: The Marshall Tucker Band

2016: Aaron Tippin, Confederate Railroad

2017: JoDee Messina

2018: Tyler Farr

2019: Russell Dickerson

2020: No Fair (COVID-19 pandemic)

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